Thank you, Stephen Eldritch MC, and good morning everyone. I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land, and I pay my respects to the Elders, both past and present.
It’s a pleasure to welcome the new Donor Centre here to the heart of our City. Thousands of people have given blood at the old Clarence Street centre over the past 25 or more years, and it’s done a sterling job.
But there is a new visibility for the centre here, positioned between two landmark buildings and fittingly placed, as I’ve said, in the symbolic heart of our City.
I hope it will remind people who are not yet donors of the vital work done by the Red Cross Blood Service, of the thousands of people – accident victims, cancer patients, pregnant women, to name just some - whose lives and well-being depend on the service.
Many NSW people already contribute to this great community enterprise: there are over 400,000 blood donations a year in NSW, and this new centre is expected to deal with 35,000 of them.
I hope your presence here in this high profile site will inspire still more people to become blood donors.
There are many ways through which we try to build a sense of a community among the people in our City but this is surely one of the most practical and the most rewarding, knowing that your decision to give blood may literally mean the difference between life and death for a fellow citizen.
Today, I’d also like to pay tribute to the volunteers who contribute so much to the work of the Red Cross and of the Blood Service. You, too, are helping build a strong community, one that cares for its members. As I’ve said many times before, when we talk about community, we are really talking about all of us – individuals who, by acting for the common good – build this thing we call our community.
So thank you to all of you for helping make our City the wonderful place that it mostly is.
And once again, congratulations to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on your new home, and welcome to the heart of the City.